In industrialized countries, acute infectious enteric diseases are usually mild, but they can also cause death. They do so, however, at different ages. Using 2004-2008 German notification data, we computed and compared crude and premature mortality [three different measures of years of potential life lost (YPLL)] of illnesses caused by Campylobacter spp., Listeria monocytogenes, norovirus, rotavirus, non-typhoidal Salmonella spp., and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Among ~1.5 million notified illnesses, those caused by norovirus were the most frequent. The highest annual mortality was registered for salmonellosis (0.55/1 000 000 population), but listeriosis accounted for the highest number of YPLL (n=4245). Disregarding death at advanced age (i.e. >70 years), STEC illness (n=757) and rotavirus gastroenteritis (n=648) ranked second and third, following listeriosis (n=2306). Routine surveillance captures only a fraction of all incident cases and deaths, under-ascertaining the true burden of disease. Weighting death by age permits a different view on the disease burden individual enteric pathogens cause and particularly underscores the public health importance of listeriosis prevention.